By Ridge Mahoney
The fall of the Montreal Impact and the return of Landon Donovan marked outcomes that moved the Galaxy atop the MLS power rankings by virtue of a 2-2 tie in Toronto and the Impact’s defeat.
Defending Eastern Conference champion Sporting Kansas City ended the Impact’s four-game winning streak by winning, 2-0, at Sporting Park. Also holding serve at home were Houston, Real Salt Lake, New York and FC Dallas, along with Chivas USA, which can’t draw fans but is no longer the Western Conference doormat and with its third victory moves into the top tier.
Week 5 Soccer America MLS Power Rankings
Rank TEAM (W-L-T) Last Week
1. LOS ANGELES (2-0-2), 2.
2. HOUSTON (3-1-0), 3.
3. FC DALLAS (4-1-0), 4.
4. MONTREAL (4-1-0), 1.
5. CHIVAS USA (3-1-1), 7.
6. SAN JOSE (2-2-1), 5.
7. SPORTING KC (2-1-2), 11.
8. PHILADELPHIA (2-2-0), 6.
9. COLUMBUS (2-1-1), 9.
10. D. C. UNITED (1-2-1), 10.
11. VANCOUVER (2-2-0), 8.
12. REAL SALT LAKE (2-2-1), 14.
13. TORONTO FC (1-2-1) 13.
14. NEW YORK (1-2-2), 16.
15. NEW ENGLAND (1-3-1), 12.
16. PORTLAND (0-1-3), 17.
17. SEATTLE (0-3-1), 15.
18. COLORADO (0-3-2), 18.
19. CHICAGO (0-3-1), 19.
(Columbus, D.C. United, and Chicago did not play in week 5).
THE BEST. League scoring leader Mike Magee (five goals) struck early and Jose Villarreal equalized in stoppage time to preserve the Galaxy’s unbeaten record, but a terrible error by Leonardo that set up a TFC goal tainted the return of Donovan, who played the final 29 minutes. Defender Todd Dunivant surprised Donovan by removing the captain’s armband and handing it to him in a gesture that typifies the spirit that buttresses this talented team.
Houston embarrassed the 2012 Supporters’ Shield winners by scoring twice in the first half on goals by Will Bruin and Gilles Barnes and throttling the Quakes’ attack for most of the game. The unbeaten run at home in all competitions stands at 34 matches, which ties RSL for the league record.
Dallas waited out a stubborn Revs’ resistance until Blas Perez’s goal in the 87th minute claimed a 1-0 win at Gillette Stadium. Impact midfielder Andrea Pisanu sat out the trip to Kansas City with a knee injury, and head coach Marco Schallibaum was ejected for throwing water at the fourth official in Montreal’s defeat. Eric Avila’s classy right-footed volley coupled with an own goal lifted Chivas USA past Vancouver and into the top tier for the first time this season.
THE MIDDLE. San Jose clearly came out second-best in Houston and coupled with its 2-0 home loss to RSL in Week 1 dropped into the middle tier. On the plus side, another of the wounded -- Alan Gordon -- got his first minutes of the season, and Ramiro Corrales registered his 300th appearance. SKC parlayed Benny Feilhaber’s first two assists for the club into a solid dispatch of previously perfect Montreal.
Philly succumbed to a great goal by Thierry Henry after Conor Casey had nailed his first goal for the Union with a classic near-post header, yet a chronic case of ball-watching by Amobi Okugo left Henry free to strike the winner.
Add the ‘Caps to the teams swept aside by the Chivas USA resurgence. They fell behind early to an own goal off Jun Marques Davison and Kenny Miller’s goal in the 64th minute left them one short. RSL ended a three-game winless streak by riddling Seattle’s back line with a 2-0 score that could easily have been doubled. Goals by Robbie Findley and Luis Gil ended Alvaro Saborio’s exclusivity in that department.
THE REST. TFC fans left BMO Field in anguish at the result against the Galaxy, yet the return of Luis Silva from injury -- he set up the second TFC goal for Jonathan Osorio -- and the continuing sharp form of Robbie Earnshaw -- scorer of the first goal and four on the season – bode well. A clever opening goal by Dax McCarty and Henry’s elegant trap and first-time shot propelled New York into the "win" column. The Revs were blanked for the third straight game and for the second consecutive match at home.
Portland and Colorado kept each other winless by tying, 2-2, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, where goals by Dillon Powers and Hendry Thomas staked the Rapids to a 2-0 lead wiped out by Will Johnson’s dual strikes. Each team converted a penalty kick and Edson Buddle made his Rapids debut. The Sounders were shredded during much of the loss at RSL and though Brad Evans’ goal marked a spirited second-half effort the defensive issues persist.